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I suppose you could fish it without a lead but I'm not really sure why you would bother. Is there a specific reason you would want to fish it without the lead?

With a lot less faffing around, you could hook on (or thread on) a mesh bag and get a similar presentation and I have in the past used mesh bags while freelining to get some extra distance. However, if I was fishing it at any sort of range, I would be concerned that the hook would pull free from a solid bag on a big chuck as (in my mind) the lead offers some resistance against the weight of the bag.

Another thing to consider is that the lead plays multiple roles in our fishing. Yes, it gives us some casting weight but as many of us fish bolt rigs, the lead also acts to prick the fish when the hook is tightened against its weight. Finally, and probably most overlooked is the fact that the lead ensures our rig stays pinned to the deck against any flow or undertow. Without the weight of the lead to keep your rig in place, your presentation would be ruined before long if there was any kind of undertow, but having said that, a PVA bag probably isn't the one in those kinds of conditions anyway.

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Actually yes, you can leave the lead out it's just another variation of freelining... the downside (if you can call it that) is that in the event of a run you have to strike to set the hook, rather than letting the lead hook the fish for you.... its a method that I use on occasion at close range (margin fishing) give it a go... do summat different from the norm it often pays off

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3 hours ago, Dezzy27 said:

Is it possible to leave out the weight if using a pva bag, let that be the weight? 

It’s possible, but absolutely pointless. The lead weight helps with setting the hook, bite indication and keeping your main line pinned to the deck out of the way. 

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3 hours ago, Dezzy27 said:

Is it possible to leave out the weight if using a pva bag, let that be the weight? 

Yes you can do that. You'll cast far enough if you need to. I wouldn't do it on big pits though as the undertow will drag your line/hookbait out of position.  As for needing  the lead for  setting the hook as mentioned,  not necessarily.  I use the naked chod and it can run 5ft between lead and top bead. I can honestly say the lead 9 times out of 10 doesn't set the hook, I do. 

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